It’s 6:25 and the train I’m on has just pulled out of the North Berkeley BART station headed for San Francisco for an event that started at 6:00.
The stupidest part is that a half hour ago when I should have been arriving at my destination, I was trying on clothes at Nomadic Traders (my favorite outlet that is only open twice a year for two weeks each time.)
Okay, maybe that’s not the stupidest part…
At lunch I looked up the train schedule—that’s a good 6 hours ago—to find that I could catch a train at 6:24 that would put me at the Montgomery station at 6:49, which would still give me 11 minutes to find the Commonwealth Club. Which, I realize is already unrealistic, given my track record for finding anything in San Francisco. But on the little Google map on my phone, it looked very close…
Which of course, still doesn’t explain why I was looking for trains arriving around 7 pm when the California Book Awards started at 6 pm. That I can’t explain. Except to say that in my head, it started at 7 pm. But my head steered me wrong. And it’s not the first time.
While waiting for my train, I got out the piece of paper that is supposed to serve as my ticket. The one I printed out two days ago, at which time I probably saw the actual starting time of 6 pm, but for some reason it didn’t stick. I look at it again. It’s written clearly, right next to the sentence that says to be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes early so that your ticket isn’t given away.
I realize that even in the time zone that exists only between my ears that left exactly one minute for the journey from the BART station to the Commonwealth Club.
It’s somewhere around then that I realize I’ve left my phone in the car, which is parked in the station lot. Probably right under the sign that explicitly points out that only idiots leave valuables in plain sight inside their vehicles.
Well, I may have made up the idiot part.
And then my train arrived right on time. I had two choices: I could either go back to the car to retrieve my phone and catch the next train (virtually assuring I’d miss the second half of the event as well) or I could give up altogether and head home in defeat.
I chose door # 3: go to the Book Awards without my phone and show up halfway through the awards (assuming I find the venue in under 11 minutes once I make it to SF.)
I suppose it was the challenge of the thing. The possibility of adventure despite all odds.
Or maybe I’m just stubborn and a bit of a cheap skate. (The ticket was $20 after all.)
So now I’m vrooming under the bay, tunneling toward my future in a long aluminum tube. I hope there are still some snacks left at the reception. I’m getting hungry…
(copied from my little writer’s notebook that I carry in my purse at all times for just these sorts of occasions)
Stay tuned for part two. Will I find the Commonwealth Club?